Thirty-three studies of the use of television as a patient-education process are reviewed. While there are many different conditions addressed by the studies and many studies have methodological problems there are consistencies in the results that suggest how this medium has a role to play. Eleven studies randomized subjects and had a control group. All but one reported achieving their objective of knowledge gain, skill training, or behavior change. Video presentation alone was as effective as any other presentation method and was more effective than only written information. Recommendations for the use of television for patient education are included.